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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


BORTOLOTTO, Ieda Maria  and  GUARIM NETO, Germano. The use of the camalote, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, Pontederiaceae, for handicraft in the District of Albuquerque, Corumbá, MS, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.2, pp.331-337. ISSN 1677-941X.

Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, known locally as camalote, is an aquatic plant indigenous to South America, abundant in the Pantanal, Brazil. Guató Indians used it for making sleeping mats in the Pantanal. The non-Indian community of Albuquerque, Corumbá, MS, nowadays, is also using it for the same purposes. An ancient Guató Indian 74 years old taught the process. The use of the camalote for handicraft in Albuquerque is described here. The methods of investigation included both semi structured interviews and participant observations. The extraction of the camalote is made on the rivers, corixos and lagoons of the area. The leaf blades are cut and only petioles are carried to the houses, washed in clear water, and dried in the sun. After dried, the petioles are woven and sewed. The Guató original technique consists of sewing the craft with threads made of cotton fibers (Gossypium sp.) or tucum fibers (Bactris sp.) recently replaced by a nylon thread in Albuquerque. The crafts are sold to tourists.

Keywords : camalote; water hyacinth; extractivism; economical activity; Ethnobotany.

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